Understanding Your Rights to Legal Counsel if You Appear Before Grand Jury in Nevada N.R.S 172.239

Defendants who are facing criminal charges always have the right to a lawyer. However, when a prosecutor seeks an indictment from a grand jury and the defendant decides to appear before the grand jury, there are limits on the ways in which an attorney may act to help a client.

At LV Criminal Defense, we have extensive experience providing legal assistance to clients who are facing indictment. We can help you to decide if testifying before the grand jury makes sense for you and we can assist you in preparing for your testimony and otherwise doing everything possible to help you fight an indictment or fight a conviction.  To get help from a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney who understands how to help clients facing an indictment, give us a call now.

The Right to Legal Counsel During Grand Jury Investigations

Nevada Revised Statute 172.239 provides detailed information on the right to an attorney when a grand jury has been impaneled by a district attorney seeking an indictment. According to N.R.S. 172.239, a person who the prosecutor is trying to indict or who the grand jury has initiated an investigation of is entitled to be represented by a lawyer during any appearance before the grand jury.

The defendant is entitled to receive legal advice from an attorney. The district attorney or grand jury foreman should provide notice of the right to have any attorney at the time when the defendant is served with a subpoena to appear before the grand jury. If the defendant is not formally served, information on the right to a lawyer must be provided with the invitation notice.

In addition to being informed of the right to a lawyer, defendants who are at risk of being indicted should also be informed of limitations on what a lawyer can do during grand jury proceedings. For example, lawyers are not permitted to directly address any members of the grand jury, nor are attorneys allowed to make any statements that will be heard by any grand jury members.  Nevada law also prohibits attorneys from participating “in any other way” in grand jury proceedings.

If an attorney disrupts the grand jury proceedings or violates any rules regarding making audible statements that the grand jury hears, the foreman of the grand jury has the authority to have the attorney removed.

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Get Help from an Attorney During Grand Jury Proceedings

Typically, prosecutors convene a grand jury for purposes of securing an indictment only in situations where a criminal act is getting a lot of attention from the public or in situations when a serious crime has been committed. If you are facing a possible indictment, the stakes are likely very high. If the grand jury decides to indict, you could end up forced to go through an entire criminal trial and defend yourself from serious accusations.

You want to ensure you do not incriminate yourself or provide the grand jury with probable cause to believe you committed a crime. A grand jury can indict based on probable cause that a crime was committed and that the defendant committed it- a prosecutor does not have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at this phase in the criminal proceedings. As a result, with the low standard, it is very common for grand juries to vote to indict.  Defendants should make sure they don’t give the prosecutor any help in making a case.

Contact a Las Vegas Defense Attorney with Experience

LV Criminal Defense has provided legal guidance and advocacy to many clients who have been notified they are being investigated by a grand jury for an alleged criminal offense.  Our legal team will help to ensure you are prepared to respond in a smart and strategic way to the threat of an indictment.  Call as soon as possible to learn more about how we can help if you receive a subpoena or notice to appear.